Shadows Fall - The War Within review
|Album:||The War Within|
|Release date:||September 2004|
01. The Light That Blinds
02. Enlightened by The Cold
03. Act Of Contrition
04. What Drives The Weak
06. Inspiration On Demand
07. The Power Of I And I
08. Ghosts Of Past Failure
09. Eternity is Within
10. Those Who Can Not Speak
The War Within, is what is arguably Shadows Fall's "breakthrough album" to the mainstream media. Regardless of that, this album still kicks some major ass. Unlike their previous release, however, this album takes a much larger step in the technical performance area. It is riddled with intricate riffs, blistering guitar work, and interesting musical switches. It is a ten track roller coaster of musical insanity. It really is like a war inside of your head, so get ready to defend against this siege of non-stop technical assault, get ready to wage "The War Within."
This opens up with one of the best introductions I have ever heard, I could only name a few other openers that I could honestly say match the quality of how this album begins. "The Light That Blinds" reminds one of Metallica's 'Fight Fire with Fire.' It uses a nice mellow classical riff, constantly lulling you deeper and deeper into a relaxed state, then suddenly, BLAM!! you're kicked right the fuck out of your nice happy land of rainbows and sunshine and right into a blistering hot Shadows Fall leadline. But enough about one song, let's talk about the album. The vocals on this album are good, but I feel do not live up to the potential of their previous release.
The lyrics generally tend to take a more personal outlook on things, unlike past songs, which were seen as somewhat political. Needless to say Brian Fair is still a great lyricist, for example, on the song those who cannot speak, there is the line "Instinct urges on as the mind creates its own obstacles, waging internal war between objects and the abstract."
Drumming on this album is of course insane, because Bittner is back and he's blowing your brains out with his double bass and cymbal work. The guitar on this album is insane as well, never failing to disappoint, Bachand and Donais deliver some of their best riffs to yet surface, such as 'The Power of I and I', 'Enlightened By the Cold', and 'The Light That Blinds.' The Bass for this album is actually noticeable as well, though still not great.
As much as I love this album, however, I have to say it is the beginning of their decline. This album is like Metallica's ".....And Justice For All...." in the respect that it's great, I fuckin' love it, yet is it like their previous release? No. Will they ever be as good again? Once more, the answer is no. So get ready to throw in Shadows Fall's last great and unique album, because I got news for ya kids, everything after this is just mediocre.
Album Highlights: The light That Blinds, Act of Contrition, The Power of I and I, Those who Cannot Speak.
|Oh my! This here is easily one of the best albums of the year. This makes me extremely happy as finally, a relatively 'new' band is capable of gaining my attention and producing some great music.
As most of our readers probably know, Shadows Fall is part of this whole new wave of American bands which mix the melo-death aesthetic with metalcore and hardcore, as well as a smidgen of alternative (think Killswitch Engage or Chimaira). The result is much heavier and more aggressive than the Gothenburg sound, and also contains much more attitude. Shadows Fall itself; however, sounds a lot more thrashy than other bands of this genre. You can also find a lot of Machine Head and Death influences here, and that is definitely not a bad thing. Overall, I think the band does an exceptionally good job of being both aware of the classical metal formulas as well as being able to venture into modern metal territory, and all this with great grace and no cringe-inducing moments whatsoever!
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